Previews

E3 2018: Xbox Press Conference

Well there was an awful lot of stuff in the Microsoft conference at E3 this year and bucking the trend of the last couple of years, there were more games on show and less talking about games and the hardware they run on, so fair play to Microsoft for that. Watching it live, I didn’t feel like there were many points where I thought “get on with it” or “are they actually going to show us something”, which I suppose is a good sign. There were plenty of “world” exclusives, I emphasise world as opposed to console exclusives, because it’s an important distinction to make. Microsoft often gets flagged up about no enough exclusives in their conferences, so it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Games

Halo Infinite

So, the sixth main story Halo game is Halo Infinite. Personally, I missed the Halo hype train on the original Xbox, only ever playing Halo 3 and ODST to completion and none of the other games since. Having said that this is still a decent enough trailer, it teases enough to be intriguing, without giving anything away. I’ll probably give this game a miss myself but I’m sure I’ll keep a passive eye on future reveals to see if anything piques my interest.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I am ashamed to say I never played the predecessor to this game Ori and the Blind Forest, despite it looking like a beautiful and interesting game. Will of the Wisps appears to be more of the same, which means now I feel like I want to play through the first game and jump on the bandwagon for this game.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

A game set in a period that Assassin’s Creed fans have been begging for years for, feudal Japan. This game does intrigue me a fair amount so I’m going to be keeping an eye on this one as more information is released.

Fallout 76

This was briefly mentioned in the Microsoft conference, but the Bethesda conference went into more detail and you can check out our coverage here of what they had to say about the newest instalment in the Fallout franchise. This is a prequel to the other Fallout games and an online survival game, so something a little different from the most recent entries in the series.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

This one is another intriguing game from the makers of Life is Strange which looks like you switch between the real world and the main characters imagination as he looks to be dealing with some heavy stuff in his life. This game will be free to play from 26th June this year.

Crackdown 3

Terry Crews was excellent in this trailer. I’ve only played a little bit of the second game in this series, but based on what some people have said about the previous games and what I know about the third one, it might be worth revisiting them and most certainly playing this one at some point.

NieR Automata

Not much to say about this one as it’s coming to the Xbox from the PS4. I’ve heard great things about this game, so I probably will visit this game at some point given all I’ve heard about it and Xbox fans who have been waiting for this release will certainly be excited about it.

Metro Exodus

I played a fair amount of Metro 2033 when it first came out and really enjoyed it, based on the trailer this looks like it could be more of the same so again it’s a series that might be worth jumping back in to in the run up to the release of Exodus. Graphically it looks impressive and immersive providing that hard hitting action that gamers will certainly enjoy.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Having never played any of the Kingdoms Hearts games, I don’t get the hype that surrounds this third game and there’s a fair amount of it out there. After 13 years since Kingdom Hearts 2, Disney and JRPG fans have been building up to this moment and of course with a number of new character opportunities for inclusion, I can understand why fans are excited for this to finally be available on 29th January 2019.

Sea of Thieves

As per the review I wrote on this game I was disappointed with the base game. During the conference there were two major pieces of content announced, Forsaken Shores and Cursed Sails. Although extra content is what Sea of Thieves desperately needed, I’ll probably hold off getting these extra until after release to see what they include.

Battlefield 5

There was nothing new here as EA have their own conference during E3 which you can find coverage of here. Personally, I’m a fan of the Battlefield series, so at some point I’ll probably be getting BF5. This was a game that got a Battle Royale that are all the rage these days, but I suppose it’s better than loot boxes.

Forza Horizon 4

I’ve never been big on racing games, but Forza Horizon 4 might just change that. With an open world that looks incredible, it might be a lot of fun to jump in to for a good laugh. With a “dynamic weather system” that effects how your vehicle behaves, this could be an interesting racing game which could offer hours of entertainment and play time as you can connect with other players around the world.

We Happy Few

This game looks brilliant, it’s an adventure survival game, that looks equal measure bonkers and fun. Set in an alternative 1960’s, everyone takes a hallucinogenic to help forget events that happened in the run up to the end of World War Two. We Happy Few has been in development for a while now but it is most certainly one that a lot of fans are looking forward to getting their hands on.

Player Unknown’s Battleground

This battle royale game has proved so popular that most other games are now clamouring to have some form of one against all mode in their games. It is going to be getting some more content in the future in the shape of more maps to fight it out on.

Tales of Vesperia

This is a remaster of a game, originally released on the previous iterations of consoles, being released as a “definitive edition”. This was the tenth game in the series of Japanese RPGs, that proved to be popular, so a HD remaster was welcome by fans of the series.

The Division 2

I thoroughly enjoyed the first Division game despite its bugs and performance issues. The second game looks to be more of the same but this time in a different location of Washington D.C. instead of New York. It’s also a game that was covered further in the Ubisoft conference which you can find more information on here. This is another game I’ll be looking forward to and will eventually get.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

This is the next instalment of the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise, which I’m currently playing through. I’m seriously looking forward to playing this game as the new games are excellent in my opinion and this game looks to continue in the same vein as the ones I’m playing currently. The Square Enix presentation showed some more of the gameplay and you can check out the coverage from that conference here.

Session

Session looks to be a return to the skateboarding simulators of old, like a new age version of the Tony Hawks games and if it turns out to be like those games it might be worth visiting. But sorry, folks, it’s not Skate 4 like we were all hoping for but it may well be worth giving it a chance to see if it measures up after years without a skating game on a current gen console.

Black Desert

Black Desert is an MMORPG coming to the Xbox One eventually, after a delayed released, with a Beta coming to the console in the autumn of this year. It was originally released on the PC in March 2016 so it will be good for it to be available on console for those who have patiently waited for it to arrive.

Devil May Cry 5

Yet another game series that I’ve never had the opportunity to play, but this one I’m personally not particularly interested in playing. From the trailer it doesn’t look like this instalment adds much to the series as it looks like more of the same, with a graphics upgrade. For fans of the game, Capcom have also dropped in that Dante will be making an appearance so this should most certainly get people interested in the new addition to the series.

Cuphead

Announced during the conference was the final piece of downloadable content of the massively popular Cuphead. Titled “The Delicious Last Course” it looks to add more bosses and more fun. I must admit Cuphead is currently on my “pile of shame” as I’m yet to play it, but I’ve heard plenty of good things about it and with it’s wonderful art style and interesting gameplay, I really must get on it.

Tunic

As a fan of the Legend of Zelda series, when I saw the trailer for this game I immediately got excited. Of course, everyone and their mother probably made the same comparison, but I have a good feeling about this game and it’s safe to say Tunic is high up my Wishlist.

Jump Force

This is a game I didn’t expect, a fighting game with characters from various anime shows. I don’t expect anything ground breaking, but I can imagine it to be quite fun to jump for a couple of fights. I’m hoping for good old style Tekken game, but turned up to 11. You could almost hear Kuniku’s excitement from where I was sitting and we’re not even in the same county…

Dying Light 2

Dying light was a free running game set in a post apocalypse earth where the worlds version of zombies gets more powerful at night. Dying Light 2 offers more of the same, this time around the developers put a lot of emphasis on your choices meaning something, as each decision influences how the story evolves, with each faction treating you differently, depending on what choices you make during each mission. For fans of the first game, you may like the dark twist the story seems to take and having the added pressure of your choices defining how things play out, Dying Light 2 could certainly be interesting to play.

Battletoads

Battletoads is returning! This NES/SNES classic is coming to the Xbox one next year and will hopefully be like what it was before. This beat ‘em up, platforming game has a lot of fans across multiple age groups and is considered a classic by many. This maybe worthy of a nostalgia trip for many of them and will be worth keeping an eye on

Just Cause 4

The Just Cause games are another series of games that look like chaotic fun, yet I am still yet to play one of them all the way through. Another Square Enix game briefly covered in the Microsoft conference, it certainly looks like it will be more of the same for fans of the series, but I suppose if it isn’t broken, why fix it. You can see a little more information in our Square Enix coverage.

Gears of War

Gears of War Pop

Gears of War Pop seems to have taken everyone by surprise, it seems to completely come out of left field. This mobile game combines the Gears franchise and the popular Funko Pop collectibles as they bring the models to life. What the game entails remains to be seen, but I imagine to be akin to some of the Lego games that have released over the years on various formats.

Gears of War Tactics

Another Gear of War game announced at E3, this time it’s a real time strategy game set 12 years before the original Gears of War game. I’ve never been big on RTS games, but I loved the original trilogy of Gears games, so I might give this one a go and see what it’s like.

Gears of War 5

Possibly the game I’m most excited for from Microsoft’s conference. As I mentioned I love Gears of War, it’s one of my favourite series from the previous generations of consoles. This game now looks to take on a different protagonist who isn’t a member of the originals delta squad or a Fenix family member. Playing as a female protagonist, Kait, will also make a change, from the series usual steroidal beef cake of the previous games. The series seems to be moving to a more emotionally driven story line, which also great to see. For me this game is a must play and I’m looking forward to picking it up on release day.

Cyberpunk 2077

This game looks intriguing concept and I’ve some very interesting things about it. From the creators of The Witcher games it looks like a first-person RPG crossed with Grand Theft Auto. With the option to choose between a male or female protagonist, you will play solo and be able to create your own character. I think this game could be a hit, a lot of people are excited for this game, let’s hope it live up to the hype.

New console being developed

Nothing has really been announced about the new console at the time of writing, only that it is in development, I’m sure that more details will be released in the future but of course, XBOX want you to know that something is coming.

Studio Acquisitions

Microsoft announced that they had acquired several studios recently and would be working with them to make some interesting, exclusive games in the future. These studios were:

  • Undead Labs
  • Playground Games
  • Ninja Theory – the creators of the fantastic Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice
  • Compulsion Games – the creators of We Happy few

They also announced a new studio called Initiative, based in Santa Monica, California. Hopefully we’ll see some excellent games from these studios in the future. I’m particularly interested in the Ninja Theory acquisition as Hellblade is one of the best games I think I’ve ever played.

Investment in Exclusives

They also announced that they would be investing in all current and new exclusives for the console. It seems they’re slowly learning their lesson on this as, I feel this is one of the biggest things holding the Xbox back this generation. The lack of exclusive, particularly early in the consoles life is one of the things that put people off the console in the first place.

So that’s all folks, there was an awful lot to cover in that conference. I feel it was one of the better E3 conference for Microsoft in recent years as there are lots of games to get exited about for the console and for PC. Hopefully the new studio acquisitions and the promise to fund more exclusive will bear fruit and make the games market a more interesting place.

Leave a Reply